Busyness and Burnout

Week Fourteen

Liz didn’t bring any more of her Lubbock catering this week and I think she saw my disappointment – one gets used to good food quickly. I had skipped breakfast and I think Josh, the lawn care magnate, had skipped it too. We joked with her about getting us addicted to her generosity and she feigned sorrow. She deadpanned, “Is that all I am wanted for anymore?” We just hung our heads and said yes, but then quickly repented of our mourning and got to prayer. Liz mentioned that she needed specific prayer for her day – she was going to have to fire one of her leaders. I hate firing people even if they are completely malfunctioning so I led that prayer for her. She wasn’t nervous because this particular employee had failed to live up to the company mission even after repeated warnings, but she still wanted this employee to learn from this job loss and to land a good job. “He’s actually a friend,” Josh had had a similar situation with his lawn care company for one of his friends who worked for him about a year ago and he totally understood. So, we lifted that whole situation up. That was the main specific prayer – we mainly stuck to praying for one another’s families and companies. All of us reported that things were flourishing at work and we praised God for that…

A cool thing happened too. We saw another group of three sitting down a few tables away from us and they were taking my talk from last week quite seriously. I wonder if they will experience the same sort of fellowship and effectiveness as we have. I hope they do because what we have been doing has been invaluable. I stopped by their table as the other main meeting was starting and I asked how their time was – they all smiled at me and said how much they appreciated what I had to say the week previous. They also said that they were pleased with their first week of prayer and would continue.

The speaker for this week was a contractor who talked about being cautious with how much we multi-task. He talked about how busyness is not such a good thing especially when it can lead to burnout. He talked about how he had once prided himself in being the busiest contractor in town, but that it led to high levels of stress. He said that he had an internal competition going on with the other successful contractors in town and how this led to health problems and got him close to a nervous breakdown. He said that we should dump our excess multi-tasking and try to focus harder on just a few things – make those things as good as they can be. I really appreciated how honest this guy was. It’s not easy to tell others about weaknesses – past and present. This sort of vulnerability is rare and I told him that I liked how he had brought up such an important issue.

Any comments on this subject – I know I have a problem with “killing myself” and even avoiding my family for the sake of the job. Do you guys have this same issue? I’m interested to know how many of you struggle with this – so share…

Insurance Claims Adjuster 101

I have had a need to file a fire damage claim after part of my house caught on fire. I had insurance, but was unsure who I needed to contact to make sure I got the best deal. I wanted to make sure to recoup what I had lost – from the ambiance of the house to the internal décor. I asked around as to who I needed to contact and found out that having an insurance claims adjuster was key to making a fire damage claim. I looked all around for a firm that employed these types of workers and finally found one that seemed to pride itself on getting clients top-notch claims done. Anyway, it all worked out for me. I’m writing this blog because I hope it can help someone who needs help to find what sort of person they need to use when some damage occurs. So what is an insurance claims adjuster, what do they do and why are they so important? Read below for answers to these questions:

An Insurance claims adjuster or claims handler (claim handler), investigates insurance claims by interviewing the claimant and witnesses, consulting police and hospital records, and inspecting property damage to determine the extent of the company’s liability. Other claims adjusters who represent policyholders may aid in the preparation of an insurance claim.

In the United States, a claims adjuster’s duties typically extend to include the following elements:

  • Verify an insurance policy exists for the insured person and/or property. In general, these are written by the policy-holding insurance company.
  • Risk(s) of loss(es), or damages to property, culminating in the loss of property and or bodily injury.
  • After completing the above investigations, evaluate the covered injuries and/or damages that have been determined according to the coverage grants.
  • Negotiate a settlement according to the applicable law(s), and identify coverages for which the insured is covered, following best insurance practices.

So, was that helpful for you? Have you ever had a similar experience that required the services of an insurance claims adjuster? Did you end up satisfied with the experience? Let me know what damage you had done and which company you chose and even why you chose them. Thanks in advance for your comments.

Being on Time – Modeling to employees

Week Twelve

Well I am going to give a lot of credit to God for something: Liz has seen incredible growth in her Lubbock catering business and Josh also said that he has had a bunch of new clients call to hire his crew for Lubbock lawn care in the past week. I have had the same steady business as I always have, but I didn’t complain that God was not blessing me, because if I had any more business I would have to say no to it – I have as much business as I can stand as it is. Anyway, it was cool to hear that all of us were not only feeling good about the spiritual side of our prayer time, but that we were noticing growth in business. We praised God for these things and kept praying for one another’s families. We all know that we have an enemy that wants to devour any and all parts of our lives and so we encouraged each other to “put our spiritual armor” on so that the enemy would not throw us off. It was another really great meeting before the main meeting.

At the beginning of our real meeting, our main speaker did not show up for fifteen minutes – in other words they were uncomfortably late. There were grumblings and lots of watch checking as all of waited for the weekly speaker got there. But, when the main speaker got there (Luke), it all made sense. Luke’s message to us was about being leaders who model right behavior to our employees. And he began his talk with the topic of punctuality. He had been late on purpose to see how all of us would respond. He asked us how we felt when their leader of the week was not there on time. Several people admitted that they were frustrated and felt like Luke was failing them. With a room full of professionals there, it was a big moment. Luke took a chance by doing this, but it led right into his talk about being a leader who modeled proper work practices. He said that if the bosses were late or lazy or filled with complaint that the employees would tend to follow that model. He said that if we talked one way but acted in another, our employees would do the same. He encouraged all of us to not only model good work behavior, but he also said that it might be a good idea to hold a meeting with our staffs to explain what the expectations are for their employees. At this meeting the boss should ask what kind of behavior they have seen from him/her and write them down on a board. Then the boss could commit to changing their wrong behaviors as well. It was a challenging message but one that I needed to take seriously. I know that I am quite loose with my punctuality and my negative words about work. I’ll do this meeting and confess my weaknesses and tell my crews what I expect of them. I think this will help my staff regain respect for me and their jobs.

Anybody out there with comments about this “leadership modeling?” Have you ever held a meeting like this? If so, what occurred?

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

 

Bullying and Sexual Harassment

Week Ten

Prayer with Josh and Liz (lawn care and catering in Lubbock respectively) went well. We all agreed that this addition of prayer time was making such a difference with our work attitudes and thus work output. I asked them if I could mention our time to the rest of the group and invite others. I wanted to get clearance from them before asking others and they seemed a bit hesitant. Josh was worried that if we had too many join us we might lose the intimacy of our smaller group. Liz suggested that I might give a talk to the whole group about the power of prayer as it regards the marketplace. She said that I could talk about our group of three and then tell the group that they might consider forming their own groups of three. That sounded good to Josh and me and so I said I would sign up for such a talk and see how the others would take it. I know it is not always politically correct to bring up “religious” things to groups that might not share the same faiths, but since we exist in the Bible belt, I decided that it might be well received. I guess we will see in a few weeks when I actually do it. I asked Josh and Liz to be praying for me as I set out to prepare my talk. I usually have no problem with public speaking, but since everyone up to this point has been so amazing, I didn’t want to break the momentum with a crappy talk. Pressure – may it not undo me. And people pleasing, may it stand far from me.

Today’s talk was from a duo – a President of a bank and a woman who heads up several corporate housing spaces (Midland short term furnished apartments is the better term as we were informed). They joined up on a talk because they were married and I guess they felt it less nerve-wracking to speak together. And their marriage was relevant because they spoke on the goods and bads of workplace relationships. It was a good talk but I didn’t get much out of it because my whole crew is made up of hardworking, macho men that I didn’t see falling in love with one another. Still, I did pay attention because who knows, I might just hire a female at some point. Their main point was that if you don’t set strong boundaries with your staff, they might start dating and this can be dangerous. They said that if you have a couple at work who dates openly, they not only bring their PDA into the office but can also bring their fights. And if the couple end up de-coupling, it can get really nasty, which is not want what you want if you are going to run a professional organization. I could see where they were coming from – I do get this at my workplace in an indirect way because my guys will battle with their wives/girlfriends and come to work with a bad attitude.

Okay – so do you agree with their point? What are your thoughts on workplace flings and relationships? Do you draw clear boundaries with your workers? Has allowing this sort of thing come back to bite you? Feel free to comment.